Technology Is A Good Thing For Society

Basically science is known as the study of knowledge, which is made into a system and depends on analysing and understanding facts. Technology is basically the application of this scientific knowledge. If nations do not implement science and technology, then the chances of getting themselves developed becomes minimal and thus could be even rated as an undeveloped nation.

Science and Technology is associated in all means with modernity and it is an essential tool for rapid development. Modernization in every aspect of life is the greatest example of the implementation of science and technology in every nation. With the introduction of modern gadgets in every walk of life, life has become simple and this is possible only because of implementing science and technology together. A nation who is not able to prosper on these grounds would never be able to sustain the lives there and may have to solely depend on other nations for the basic requirements.

Such is the influence of science and technology for the development of a nation. For every nation to get developed, the application of both science and technology has to go hand in hand. Villages are developed into towns and towns to cities and cities are expanding to greater horizons. This expansion has occurred through the expansion of science and technology over the years passed and will be more in the coming years. The most common answer to the liberal difficulty with the child is to treat children as the charge and almost as the property of parents, and so to apply the language of rights to them second hand.

This often makes good sense, but it also has the effect of subsuming the interests of the child within those of the parents, so that in principle our picture of the world can still consist purely of rational adults and their needs and wants. That way, we can continue to imagine the future without considering the distinctive challenges and the peculiar promise and hope that result from the presence of children in society. But the absence of children in this vision of the future results from more than a gap in a theory.

Even more important is the very practical way in which children pose a hindrance to any vision of progress. Regardless of how much intellectual and material progress any society may make, every new child entering that society will still enter with essentially the same native intellectual and material equipment as any other child born in any other place at any other time in the history of the human race.

Raising such children to the level of their society is, to put it mildly, a distraction from the forward path. And a failure to initiate the next generation of children into the ways of civilization would not only delay or derail innovation, it would put into question the very continuity of that civilization. We are, in a limited sense, always starting from scratch, and this means that we need more than innovation to secure and to better our future. The anthropology of innovation would like to avoid or avert this complicated reality. It does so mostly by ignoring it, but at the edges of the party of innovation, we see genuine efforts to ward off the challenge of the child.

It is a desire to start not from scratch, but from individual, rational, freely choosing adults, and to progress only from there. Indeed, it may be that in its fullness, this innovation-driven vision of the future almost has to exclude children. William Godwin, the eighteenth-century futurist and prophet of innovations of the human intellect, offers a sense of why that should be.

This may be the only way in which the anthropology of innovation could be sufficient in itself as a vision of the future. Children do not start where their parents left off. They start where their parents started, and where every human being has started, and society must meet them there, and rear them forward. That we are all born this way has everything to do with how the future happens. A vision of the future that takes note of our natality will go about imagining in a profoundly different way.

T o imagine the future in terms of generations means, most fundamentally, to be concerned for continuity. The means of human biological continuity do not offer guarantees of human cultural continuity, because at least for the time being the intellectual and cultural progress we might make leaves no real mark on the biology of our descendents.

They enter the world as we did, and as all human beings have before us: small, wrinkled, wet, screaming, helpless, and ignorant of just about everything.

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At this very moment, dozens of people are entering the world in just that condition — about 15, worldwide make their entrance every hour — and the future of the human race depends upon them. Contending with this constant onslaught and initiating these newcomers into the ways of our world is the never-ending and momentous challenge that always confronts every society. At stake are both the achievements of the past and — most especially — the possibilities of the future. If the task of initiation and continuation fails in just one generation, then the chain is broken, the accomplishments of our past are lost and forgotten, and the potential for meaningful progress is forsaken.

The barbarism of savage human nature, more than the prospect of a final human victory over natural limitations, is in this sense always just around the corner. Indeed, what stands out about the anthropology of generations is not so much a desire to protect children from the dangers of the world — a desire shared by nearly everyone — but rather the related determination to protect the world from the dangerous consequences of failing to instruct the up-and-coming generation. It is at once responsible for every individual and for the whole society over time. These two missions are not the same.

The child must be protected from the world even as he benefits from its advantages and opportunities. And the world must be protected from the child — from the prospect of savagery — even as it benefits from exposure to the freshness, vitality, and hope of the young. The child is protected in the arms of a family that is in turn strengthened and reinforced by a culture friendly to its cause. And the world is protected through the transmission of culture and civilization. The work of the culture is the work of cultivating human souls, providing them with nourishment and with protection as they grow.

The culture provides the background preconditions without which a society could not contend with the challenge of natality. This is one main reason why conservatives — to whom the anthropology of generations most appeals — care so much about the culture and its mores. It is also why some vague and seemingly abstract concerns — like human dignity and human nature — matter so much to conservatives engaged in the biotechnology debates.

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Such ideas cannot help but shape the way the next generation understands its place and its purpose, and some potential innovations in biotechnology cannot help but affect these ideas. Indeed, this sort of thought-experiment is key to much of the approach of those drawn to the anthropology of generations. They therefore sometimes judge innovations very differently than those who think of the future primarily in terms of the interests of the present.

In fact, this generational approach to the future implies that innovation is not as significant as it may sometimes seem, because the most crucial project of every community remains mostly the same over time. Because the challenge of initiation and continuation is absolutely critical to the survival of every society, the most important thing that any society is likely to be doing at any given moment is educating and rearing the next generation. This is the most important thing human beings did in the past, the most important thing we now do in the present, and the most important thing the human race will need to do in the future.

It is obviously not the only thing we do, but it is the essential prerequisite to anything else we might want to do, emphatically including innovation and progress. The necessary tools for this critical ongoing mission — families, communities, institutions, and cultures that encourage transmission and initiation — are therefore permanently necessary, and are generally more important than almost anything else we might imagine when we think about the future. These need to be defended and encouraged, because it is very difficult to conceive of a future without them.

Other important projects we engage in, as individuals and as societies, can be judged in part in terms of their effects on this imperative goal of perpetuation and transmission. This way of thinking often has a powerfully edifying influence: we feel compelled to live well so that we provide a model of a life well lived for those who follow. But even when it cannot claim this benefit, this way of thinking keeps us alert to the genuine needs of the future. If some approaches to progress undercut the prerequisites for further progress, they must be understood and judged as such.

This might occur when certain potential innovations stand to meaningfully undermine our ability to pass along to future generations the ideals, the virtues, the knowledge, the traditions, the living spirit of our society — that is, when innovation stands to alter something so profound about the human experience that the inheritance of the future would be significantly diminished as a result of its loss.


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These are the sorts of dangers that conservatives in the biotechnology debates are eager to repel. This eagerness and this worldview, however, are open to two very serious drawbacks, which conservatives are not always sufficiently ready to admit or resist. The first is an exaggeration of the threats to childhood and to future generations, and an excessively protective stance that threatens to turn politics into a branch of pediatrics.

The impulse to protect children from exposure to the larger world threatens to suffocate them and us if it is not tied to an effort to also initiate and expose them to that world. It is easy to go overboard in childproofing our culture, and it is easy to underestimate the ability of children to contend with and to process cultural influences. Some threats to transmission and to childhood are very real — and some biotechnologies, which reach children at a primal biological level, may pose such threats — but we should not go too far in estimating the vulnerability of the next generation.

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The second drawback is a tendency to confuse the project of transmission with that of preservation. This is the conservative version of the utopian impulse. These can be found at the edges of the party of transmission, just as the post-humanists lurk at the edges of the party of innovation. These conservative extremists are no less misguided than their libertarian counterparts, and no less guilty of missing the point.

The lesson of the anthropology of generations is not so much that the past should be preserved, or even that change should somehow be governed in its every detail. That is not only impossible but thoroughly undesirable. Rather, the point is to recognize that a set of several very basic things — centered especially on the rearing and education of the young — must be allowed to happen in the future. These can be aided and improved by many human innovations, and left mostly untouched by others.

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But they might also be significantly undermined or made impossible by certain sorts of innovations, and these must be avoided when they can be. Trial and error alone cannot always be trusted to discern the difference, because the costs of error are too great. But how, then, can we discern the difference?